Kara no Shoujo (Girl of the Shell) is an erotic visual novel created by game company Innocent Grey.It’s Tokyo in 1956, right during the middle of the American occupation. Tokisaka Reiji is an ex-cop turned detective after the death of his fiancée six years ago to a serial killer known only by the name Rokushiki Makoto. The story begins when a pair of mutilated bodies are discovered and Reiji’s assistance is requested. At the same time a mysterious young girl named Kuchiki Toko makes a strange request: Please find my true self.As all the victims have been young female students, Reiji is asked by the school with the most missing students to take a temporary lecturing job while he investigates. The school is rather oppressive and is seemingly populated almost entirely by indistinguishable drones. There are only a few students who seem to have a spark of individuality, and among them are several of the girls who have already been killed. At the academy, he runs into Toko again who asks if he’s made any progress. Can Reiji stop more murders from being committed and also discover whatever it is Toko is looking for?Kara no Shoujo was released in early July 2011 by Mangagamer after they purchased the translation from a fan group. The 2013 sequel Kara no Shoujo - The Second Episode has also been licensed by Mangagamer, and its translation will be released soon.
Tropes applying to Kara no Shoujo:
AB Negative: Toko is of the Bombay Blood group, which is a real blood type that can give blood to ABO blood types, but cannot receive blood back from them due to antibodies. They can only receive transfusions from other members of the group.
Accidental Misnaming: Reiji starts calling Tsuzuriko Tojiko early on since her name is hard to say. Yukari does it sometimes as well.
Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Orihime, the student council president, is reserved and elegant with the apparent worship of the younger girls. Being forced to live like this all the time has caused her to snap and enlist some of the other girls she knows into a prostitution ring for the sole purpose of shaming the school.
Anyone Can Die: There are a lot of endings, and there are a lot of dead people in them. Tojiko, Orihime and Mizuhara always die and Toko only lives in one ending… as a torso. Hatsune and Kyoko always live.
A Love to Dismember: First murder arc ends with telling us that Kusaka has sex with the rotting composite corpse of his sister and the other girls from Schisma before committing suicide. Unless he was killed.
The Atoner: Mamiya Shinzo. He went insane after his first wife was accidentally killed by his son and developed an obsession with Misa, Toko’s mother. Eventually, he killed her and used her as the model for Kara no Shoujo. Shinji saw this and was already pretty screwed up, so he snapped. When Shinzo was sane again, Shinji was gone. When he resurfaced, Shinzo did his best to help but by then it was of course too late.
Bittersweet Ending: The endings where Rokushiki is caught. Okay, most of the cast is dead, but Reiji and Kyoko have put their pasts behind them and seem to be moving towards hooking up. Or Hatsune if you met with her more. Whether you count Shinji getting away as a good or bad thing is up to personal interpretation, though to be fair it seems like he’s put his… interests… behind him.
Brother-Sister Incest: No, not Yukari. Kusaka and Yui. Though you could say it’s technically not incest since technically it was Imamura Haruka’s torso. Also, it seems Fumiya got Chizuru pregnant once. Also, Toko's mother assumes that her brother Makoto was the father of her child, though he claims to be sterile.
Bungled Suicide: Yaginuma’s sister after a long train of rape and abuse at her father’s hands. She doesn’t die, but she’s left brain damaged from lack of oxygen and despite the obvious signs of abuse Yaginuma’s father ‘’still’’ got away with it.
But Not Too Foreign: Stella. Justified in that any fully foreign person would be very out of place in 1956 Japan.
But Thou Must: There are a few decisions where you’re given a choice of whether to do something or not, but you’ll generally end up doing it either way. For example, whether or not to try Hatsune’s cooking.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Mizuhara Toko. She actually does recognize Reiji as a good person and claims to herself not to hate him, but she still can’t get along with him due to her fixation on Kuchiki.
Cloud Cuckoolander: Yukari worries about koi drowning, has a fondness for insects and uses them in her cooking.
Cordon Bleugh Chef: Hatsune’s tuna, tomato and soy sauce pancakes are surprisingly edible. The chocolate and baking soda sandwiches are not.
Continuity Nod: This series takes place after Innocent Grey's previous work Cartagra in which Takashiro Shugo is the main character. Takashiro, Kazuna and Hatsune are returning character from Cartagra.
Death by Sex: If you come across a sex scene with someone, they’re probably going to die in about a minute or two. Bad End! There are exceptions. Kyoko, Natsume, and Hatsune never die even if you sleep with them, and Toko sometimes survives.
Death of the Author: Mentioned in regard to the painting Kara no Shoujo. What the painter intended to express is not as important as what the viewer thinks. Probably because what the author intended was just an expression of his paranoia and madness.invoked
Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted as part of Shinji's backstory. Zigzagged with Mizuhara Toko - what she does to Reiji is not consensual and is played as highly traumatic to him, but is still recorded for the player as a collectible and desirable sex scene
Downer Ending: There are a lot of bad ends with extended story. The first three endings apart from those are probably even worse. The Rokushiki captured endings manage to get all the way to bittersweet except the last one, the true end. That one’s ‘’also’’ basically a downer.
Driven to Suicide: Orihime before her bad end, which is interrupted. Shinzo, on the other hand, succeeds after he kills his son.
Eats Babies: Rokushiki didn’t actually eat the aborted fetus. No, he fed it to the mother.
Even Evil Has Standards: It's implied that Rokushiki, who egged on the two main killers, saved Kazuna and killed the first killer. The reason being that he was getting too indiscriminate: Kazuna was married and intended to have the baby, but the killer still attacked her like the others.
Everyone Is Related: Once Rokushiki’s identity is uncovered and Shinji’s connection to Toko discovered, it becomes clear how much all the cast was connected.
Eye Scream: The girl noted below had her eyes cut after she died.
Fan Disservice: Pretty naked girls are a good thing, right? Not when their arms have been severed and they’ve just died via having their heads turned backward and the text notes how the killer is removing their uterus. Even worse, most of the girls you can have sex with are brutally killed soon afterwards.
Freak Out: In one bad ending, Mizuhara convinces herself that she’s Kuchiki and acts completely different. But she’s still not acting like Kuchiki and doesn’t seem to truly understand who she’s trying to imitate. Also, Rokushiki Makoto used to be a nice guy, but then he ended up probably the most horrible person in the story.
From Bad to Worse: Toko getting hit by a car is bad enough. How about now we kill off Mizuhara, and then have Toko’s limbs removed via surgery to save her life and then have her kidnapped? And she only gets to live through one of these kidnappings.
Hate at First Sight: It's implied that Yaginuma and Reiji instantly hated each other, though they've known each other for some time before the story begins. It's not hard to see why: Yaginuma is intentionally an asshole to everyone.
If It's You, It's Okay: An early scene with Kuchiki Toko and Mizuhara Toko has Mizuhara sort-of in love with Kuchiki, but admitting that since neither are lesbians there’s nothing she can do about it.
I Never Said It Was Poison: Reiji tricks Murase into revealing that he knew that Nene had kidnapped Toko and also that he was involved himself.
Insufferable Genius: Yaginuma is a dick with an inflated view of his own abilities, but he still is pretty good.
Interrupted Suicide: In one early bad end, Orihime is about to commit suicide out of guilt and self-loathing and is stopped by Reiji. Considering what happens to her immediately after, maybe it would have been best if she had succeeded.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At one point Reiji insists Yukari couldn't have told him about the Easter event at her school because he didn't write it in his notebook like he does with most information in the game.
Life or Limb Decision: Toko’s grandfather removed all her limbs in order to save her life. That… really makes it clear why they were sure she couldn’t struggle. Though she dies in most of the following endings anyway.
Little Sister Heroine: Yukari, to an extent. She's clearly here for these reasons, but in regards to the trope she appears to serve as more of a contrast with all the Villainous Incest going on.
Mad Artist: Katsuragi Shin, also known as Mamiya Shinji. During a period of deep insanity, Mamiya Shinzo also created Kara no Shoujo by killing his lover, Misa, and using her body as a model. Now that he’s sane again you might say he’s not terribly proud of his masterpiece.
Onee-sama: Shows up in a couple places throughout, though since the story takes place in the 50s it doesn’t seem as well recognized instory. The first one seen is with Orihime, who seems to have quite the number of fangirls. Mizuhara and Kuchiki’s relationship is also described in a similar manner by Yukari
One Steve Limit: Averted with Kuchiki Toko and Mizuhara Toko. Stella’s name is actually her middle name, her dead older sister also had the same middle name.
The Ojou: Everyone at Ouba academy, really, but especially Orihime.
Parental Incest: Yaginuma’s father raped his sister repeatedly. She put up with it so that Yaginuma would be beaten less. Shinji’s mother also raped him.
Perspective Flip: Two bad endings change the perspective from Reiji to Mizuhara.
Pinball Protagonist: Some of it is justified due to the Villains Act, Heroes React nature of the detective novel. Even so, considering how many choices and paths there are, it's still a little grating that no matter what you do, almost all major characters die anyway and despite all the posturing about stopping the villains to avoid more victims, Reiji generally fails to save anyone. On top of that, most of the villains work out their issues amongst each other (with fatal results) or achieve their goals before getting caught or disappearing, making you wonder just what use he is, other than being a narrator.
She Is Not My Girlfriend: Rather than being defensive about it, Reiji is mostly confused as to why everyone thinks there’s something between him and Toko. Tojiko and Mizuhara both assume he’s slept with her.
Yamato Nadeshiko: Yukari. She even wears traditional Japanese clothing around the house. However, she's also a slight cloud cuckoolander and has some rather questionable taste, which either detracts from the impression or puts it in a comical light.
Tropes applying to Kara no Shoujo 2:
The Atoner: Ayako/Fuyumi had to abandon her baby in an orphanage, so she adopted Yukiko in order to atone for it.
Bittersweet Ending: The True End. Most of the cast is okay and gets a happy ending. Reiji also finally gets to find Touko....as a corpse. However, before dying, Touko was pregnant, so Reiji’s new mission is to find his baby.
Cartwright Curse: All the girls Ayato had sex with or were his fiances died. Satsuki (the real one) was killed by Ayako while the others were killed by a jealous Karen.
Chekhov's Gun: Yukiko's hairclip. It was given to her by Fuyumi and serves as a clue that Fuyumi and Satsuki/Ayako are the same person.
Toko: It’s crying. This precious life, only having been born into this world moments ago... is crying. Ah... I’m so glad. I’m so glad that you’re healthy. His blood runs in your veins, the blood of a person that meant the most to me. Thank you so much for being born. Please...I want you to live and be happy in my place as well. I don’t have much time left to live...I am unable to even embrace the child I’ve given birth to...Nor can I convey these feelings to anyone...So let me rest...and pray that the next time I awaken, I will be in his embrace..
Death by Sex: Satsuki was murdered shortly after having sex with Ayato. It turns out that Ayako had sex with Ayato and the real Satsuki was killed in her place.
I Just Want to Be You: Yukiko considers herself a hollow shell who merely “assimilated” other personalities. And by assimilating we mean to kill them. She killed her twin brother when she was young and in a bad end she kills Yukari and adopts her personality, much to Reiji's horror.
Killed Off for Real: Toko died some time after the first game. Also, Shinji died of unknown causes.
The Lost Lenore: Ayato's motivation is to find who murdered his sweetheart Satsuki. it turns out that Ayato was dating Ayako all along and the real Satsuki was killed by Ayako.
Maybe Ever After: The True End implies this is the case with Ayato and Ayako/Fuyumi
One Steve Limit: There are two Satsukis. One is Saya's daughter also called Ayako and the other is the Satsuki who is Ayato and Karen's half-sister and was murdered by Ayako. And it turns out that Michiru, the baby Ayako abandoned was originally named Satsuki.
Orphanage of Fear: The Hinagami killing drug illegally entered the orphanage Yukiko and Michiru were to test on all of the kids.
That Man Is Dead: After accidentally murdering Saya, Ayato runs away, moves to Tokyo and changed his name to Masaki, the name of a dead friend from the Army. However, he always happens to run around people who recognize him as Ayato. Also, after murdering the real Satsuki, Ayako escaped and moved to Tokyo where with some influence from Rokushiki, sha changed her name to Fuyumi. Both get better in the end.
Together in Death: The endings when Karen is caught and Ayato decides to kill himself out of guilt. Also, the Paranoia End, when Reiji dies after hitting his head when looking for Toko's corpse and reunites with her in the afterlife.
Yandere: Karen, towards Ayato. When she found out she couldn’t get pregnant, she didn’t want anyone to take her brother away and killed all his fiances.